Shuttleworth Throws the FLOSS Community Under The Bus

Finally we have the words of the fearless leader of Canonical/Ubuntu, “When we started, we said we wanted to deliver the best of open source on a cadence. It was up to KDE, GNOME, XFCE to define what that was going to look like, we would just integrate and deliver (a hard problem in itself). By 2009 I was convinced that none of the existing free software communities could create an experience that could challenge the existing proprietary leaders, and so, if we were serious about the dream of a free software norm, we would have to lead.”
see Not convinced by rolling releases.

I am sad to read those words of a man who has done a lot to promote GNU/Linux and FLOSS. He has lead Ubuntu GNU/Linux right up the hill of the battle for desktops etc. and is going to break up his army right before the final battle. In the smoke on the battlefield, Shuttleworth seems not to see that Apple and M$ have ceased to innovate and that Android/Linux and GNU/Linux are far ahead of anything of which those two are capable.

All the progress he has made used the output of a million FLOSS developers and thousands of kernel developers and the general is now telling his troops that if they don’t like the way he is doing things they should quit…
“If you’ve done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on. That’s normal – there’s no need to poison the well behind you just because you want to try something else.

if we want to get beyond being a platform for hobbyists, we need to accelerate the work on Unity to keep up with Android, Chrome, Windows and Apple. And that’s more important than taking care of the needs of those who don’t share our goal of a free software norm.”

What a flawed vision of the situation… equating not following blindly with not having a vision of Free Software everywhere. It’s a disaster. It’s the leader who is blind.

Really, the market share of Ubuntu GNU/Linux was made not with Unity or Canonical’s latest product but with the seeds planted in the minds of OEMs, retailers and consumers over years of effort. The battle will not be won or lost depending on the outcome of Unity but by the combined effort and all that mind-share. Throwing that away leaves Ubuntu a hollow shell.

Of the more than 1K packages that make up an Ubuntu GNU/Linux OS, only a fraction have anything to do with Shuttleworth and his generals. The vast majority is shared wisdom and software, a product of the world, not Canonical.

It’s as if the last decade of GNU/Linux never happened:
“I simply have zero interest in the crowd who wants to be different. Leet. ‘Linux is supposed to be hard so it’s exclusive’ is just the dumbest thing that a smart person could say.”

I haven’t heard anyone say GNU/Linux had to be hard. In fact, my toddling granddaughter has no problem at all with Debian GNU/Linux with xfwm4 and xfce4. What’s he thinking?! No one is saying that GNU/Linux has to be hard. Plenty are saying Unity is shoe-horning a desktop GUI into a smartphone… Hasn’t he been listening?

I despair that Ubuntu GNU/Linux is about to crash and burn. I see no good end to this disaster. Certainly the OEMs and other distros can come to a meeting of the minds to save us from Wintel or Linpus… Will they, sooner rather than later? We shall see. The folks who have an installation of Ubuntu may be able to keep using it for quite a while but if OEMs aren’t cranking it out and Ubuntu goes bust, they will have to migrate to Debian GNU/Linux or other distro. That can work. I’ve done some of it myself but it is probably beyond the consumer unless they just pave things over after backing up data. Debian GNU/Linux is certainly easy enough to install.

Ubuntu was a great idea and it did a lot of good but it seems to have terminal cancer of the brain. Canonical did accomplish a lot by getting more OEMs to ship GNU/Linux but they are about to throw all of that away by cutting off their tree at its roots. After saving $billions by using Free Software some people still don’t understand that they depend on Free Software and not that Free Software depends on them. Even Canonical is just a small part of the picture. The progress of Free Software will continue with or without Canonical.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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39 Responses to Shuttleworth Throws the FLOSS Community Under The Bus

  1. oiaohm says:

    d. you are forgetting upstart it does not make complete sense either.

    Yes they were going for shock and awe that is great. I don’t think they were kinda expecting crap we don’t want that response.

  2. d. says:

    Also, about Mir:

    It’s a pointless effort in futility. Canonical is going about it arse-backwards. They start cooking up their own display server – and their own standard – behind closed doors, without community involvement, with demands for CLA from all contributors, then they wonder why no one wants to work with them.

    But the worst part here is that it makes no sense. Canonical doesn’t have the required experitise with the graphics stack to pull this thing off. They don’t have enough people. So all things considered, there’s no way in hell they’re going to be able to get Mir done faster than Wayland.

    And furthermore: Wayland is a standard. If Canonical wants their own system that they are in control of, they could easily just create their own Wayland compositor, and that’d be fine, there’s nothing in the Wayland standard requiring you to use Weston. This would have been the logical move for Canonical. Then we could all at least play nicely within the same standard, it would be good for the entire ecosystem, we’d have compatibility and consistency accross the board. Instead, they made this stupidity. What were they thinking?!?

    Canonical is no longer beneficial for the free software community, if it ever was. That is all I have to say on this subject.

  3. d. says:

    Robert, I don’t like saying “I told you so”… but, I told you so.

  4. Adam Williamson, writing Ubuntu’s epitaph, wrote, “it’s taking on pointless extra amounts of work compared to just swallowing their pride and using Wayland, but it is a viable project. Canonical does have pretty deep engineering resources at this point; I’d say deep enough to make a reasonable go of their current effort. What they’re building will not look much like what Ubuntu used to be, though, make no mistake about that.”

    Amen. Early on, Ubuntu GNU/Linux seemed to me useful, new and interesting. Now it seems to be differentiating like a cancer, surviving on the host of Free Software, but breaking everything. GNU/Linux, pre-Ubuntu, worked well for me and millions of other users. Ubuntu seems just to put sand in the gears.

    Remember when Ubuntu meant something? What happened to that?

    Ubuntu.com used to have a picture of smiling people getting along together. Now, it’s

    Your enterprise relies on the cloud

    Shouldn’t you have a say in its future?”

    It went from a community with Mark S greasing the gears, to Matt somebody intending to run things as a business to Mark S retiring from management to be a M$-like software architect… Isn’t one M$ in the world enough? FLOSS doesn’t need/want that.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Adam Williamson the mistake with Mir is disregarding the upstream.

    Kwin is going to come a wayland compositor in it own right.
    http://worldofgnome.org/gnome-wayland/
    Mutter under Gnome.

    Wayland is a spec for Applications to talk to different compositors in a unified way. Weston is the reference implementation. Each major desktop is going to have there own.

    So KDE or Gnome main environment will not run under Mir or any other new display server including Weston. Applications under KDE and Gnome will be designed to talk Wayland.

    KDE and Gnome will share a common solution to the X11 problem Xwayland.

    Adam Williamson basically we are at the end of the userspace display server on Linux. Ubuntu did not get this. Yes Mark Shuttleworth has pissed off head of kde development.

    http://www.thepowerbase.com/2013/03/two-major-kde-developers-weigh-in-on-mir-wayland/
    Yes Aaron Seigo of Plasma, and Martin Graesslin of Kwin these are project leads these are fairly much in charge of if KDE DE will run on something.

    You now have a Universal no. There will be no support in Plasma or Kwin at this stage to run Wayland inside Wayland either.

    Fairly much Ubuntu has made the upstream nicely hostile. So this means all toolkit support will fall on Ubuntu to perform. This is not cheep.

    The really smart thing Ubuntu could do now is work out heck wayland is not that bad we should be working on expanding that protocol todo what we want.

    Mir is fairly much a duplication of Wayland.

  6. Robert: I meant small as in the size of the company. I always thought the product we put out was amazingly good for the number of people behind it – I’m biased, of course, but then I used MDK for many years before I went to work for them.

    The company actually worked fine at first, interestingly – as I mentioned, it turned a profit quite early on. That was actually the problem: people got excited and figured if they brought in a professional Management Team it’d make even MORE money. It transpired that this was not necessarily the case. =) The Professional Managers paid themselves lots of money and expanded the company way too fast, increasing costs faster than they could increase revenue, and that was pretty much how things went on. There always _was_ a viable market for a paid Linux desktop distributor until Ubuntu came along, though. It would never have set the world on fire, but it was a perfectly legitimate niche for one or two small software businesses to occupy – there was enough money there for an efficient operator to make a modest return.

    I agree on services, though. Somewhere in the MDK archives there ought to be a mail from me urging management to turn the Club into a service operation, using the my.mandriva frontend as the central point – we’d provide people with a bunch of services, integrated into the OS but accessible from other front ends too, all tied in to their Mandriva account. Alas, I never managed to sell that particular vision…

    I think Canonical are making something of a mistake in writing Mir, but it’s not a showstopper. They can make it work. In my opinion it’s taking on pointless extra amounts of work compared to just swallowing their pride and using Wayland, but it is a viable project. Canonical does have pretty deep engineering resources at this point; I’d say deep enough to make a reasonable go of their current effort. What they’re building will not look much like what Ubuntu used to be, though, make no mistake about that.

  7. Adam Williamson understated, “by any reasonable estimate it’s considerably larger than MDK ever was”.

    Oh boy, yes. Mandrake was hot in France and Brazil when it joined a distro down there and that was about it. I used Mandrake early on but it wasn’t nearly reliable enough and the mercenary nature of it when it was small really didn’t fit well. It needed a sugar daddy to get them started but they tried to go with grassroots and expanded their expenses much too quickly. There just isn’t a good way for a small distro to make money from GNU/Linux without some compelling services. RHT found that to be servers not desktops. Mandrake never seemed to find focus on a decent business-plan. Distros that did not even try to make money were more successful.

    Canonical is at the point where they have some leverage to do anything but they are risking it with this top-down thing. Their biggest resource is the world’s supply of FLOSS. They are going to have to increase investment greatly to replace the loss of interest from developers for Ubuntu GNU/Linux. It’s like a general sending his troops home during the battle. It’s not a winning strategy. It’s more like Hitler’s massacre of his Brown Shirts once the Wermacht got on board. He didn’t need his little private army any more when he had a real one. Where’s Shuttleworth’s army?

  8. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser Next never got to the top in a market. So it never developed a brand to trade off of.

    Also jobs shut it down.

    “best possible OS _right now_” is what Ubuntu is trying todo and get competitive advantage.

    Adam Williamson in a lot of ways it fine to have downstream patches there are a few key factors.
    1) large volume of downstream patches bring increased maintenance cost.
    2) thinking the upstream maintainers are wrong. Resulting in some abhorrence failures.

    –Fedora takes the completely opposite approach of frowning on blacklisting and similar kinds of ‘wrong, but short-term useful’ hacks, the same way most upstream developments do. —

    As soon as you say Wrong, but short-time useful you are heading into very dangerous areas.

    I can give an exact example of this. A party makes a pulseaudio driver for wine. Winehq.org upstream rejects it because major areas of it testsuite are failing with it. Ubuntu ships it on the arguement its useful to have pulseaudio support. Now a stack of people complain there programs are not running correctly.

    There were some after 2002 MDK did the same. It is very important to check with upstream in case there is some very big nasty glitch why you should not do something.

    Including a patch that has been merged up stream just a new release is not out yet is not normally too huge of a problem. Or include a patch that does pass the parts testsuite.(MDK and Ubuntu are guilty of this one shipping fix without testing against testsuite).

    Adam Williamson the correct balance is somewhere between what MDK and Ubuntu does and Fedora. With the automated testing that being introduced into many projects in a few years doing it correctly will not be hard and no where near as costly as it was in the MDK time.

    Adam Williamson the core failing is not enough focus on Quality Control. Does not help that Quality Control has been expensive to perform in man hours.

    Its not always distributions either at fault. Pulseaudio recommending using pasuspender with wine without doing a wineserver -k to stop everything. This is truly how to brick your audio for working for a strange amount of time. Why because when a program exits back to commandline under wine not everything stops.

    Highly complex applications have some nasty interactions. Big thing is wine configuration is loading in wineserver so it don’t have to go back to disc or probe stuff. So if you run wine before running pasuspender wine still try to access pulseaudio. Ok set wine to use real hardware interfaces. When program running under wine exists wineserver many remain running connected to the audio so not allowing pulseaudio to get audio back so audio on the system stops dead.

    Result wine project ends up recommending removing pulseaudio until pulseaudio becomes aware of the problem.

    So the only answer without teeth is fix up both sides so they work and don’t use any hacks.

    When you do a hack the downstream ripples can be nasty and hard to detect. When upstreams are saying don’t it is very big alarm bells. Upstream saying don’t lot of QA is required there is most likely something critical you have missed.

    Adam Williamson MDK never had the resources to go too far overboard “best possible OS _right now_”.

    Really what you need is this line best possible OS _right now_ that we have tested not to explode in our users faces. There are a lot of hacks where in MDK after 2002 that should have been this is too risky.

    Ubuntu has gone to a complete new level of too risky I will give you that. The problem is the motivation is basically the same. “Best possible OS _right now_” sounds so good.
    1) will you be able to maintain that cost effective? That becomes a no for mandrake and you want yes.
    2) will users suffer pain because if what you have done? if yes you are in trouble.
    3) will what you doing effect means to bring in new applications? if yes you are in trouble.

    Fedora has a very tight budget. Redhat enterprise on the other hand includes some non upstream patches.

    Redhat has its developers ask the 3 questions as soon as they start breaking way from upstream.

    I will give you Ubuntu clearly broke all 3. MDK kinda was scratching against all 3. Results of scratching against all 3 is higher costs of production normally doing less productive stuff for end users.

  9. drloser: ‘high volume’, oh I wish =) From the numbers I remember, MDK was really pretty tiny. I think revenue was about $10m and loss <$1m each year. Compare to RH – currently revenue is about $1.3bn and profit $100m each year. Canonical is private, but by any reasonable estimate it's considerably larger than MDK ever was.

    oiaohm: well naturally that would be the progression, as MDK started out as basically a fork of RH with KDE added, but ended up as an independent distro. That's not 'going against upstream' though, as it's at a completely different level (integration vs. development).

    MDK did tend to carry quite a few patches downstream, but usually the reason wasn't that we were intentionally trying to diverge for 'competitive' reasons, but that MDK's philosophy was to try and build the best possible OS _right now_, even if that meant doing some pretty ugly hacks. We had an entirely independent hardware support database (I say 'database', it was a big text table…) for instance – that didn't go 'upstream' because it was completely against the way X did things. We would blacklist adapters known not to work with nv, for instance, and make them use vesa. X didn't want to do that kind of blacklisting. Never mind that our list also including mapping for the proprietary drivers. It was always stuff like that: MDK was happy to do the kind of ugly hacks that upstream projects don't want to do, in order to provide short-term benefit to users.

    Fedora takes the completely opposite approach of frowning on blacklisting and similar kinds of 'wrong, but short-term useful' hacks, the same way most upstream developments do. So I've seen both sides. Both have their merits, and make sense for each project: the MDK approach is the way to go if you want to make the best product you can with the bits you have available _right now_, which is what MDK wanted to do. The Fedora approach is appropriate if you're trying to act as a catalyst and contributor to long-term development. Blacklisting an adapter that's buggy with nouveau, for instance, is the logical thing to do if what you mostly care about is that users of that card get the best possible experience for the next two months; but it's not logical if you want to drive improvements in the nouveau driver, because it insulates those users from it entirely, and wastes development time you could otherwise spend _working on the driver_.

    Anyways – the ways in which MDK used to 'diverge from upstream' are somewhat different from how Ubuntu has been doing it. They weren't about doing something completely different over a long period of time, but about hacking up what we had at any given point in time the work the best we could, even if it was very ugly from an engineering perspective. MDK never wrote its own desktop or display server or anything like that. Well, until the whole Rosa thing which came way after my time.

  10. DrLoser says:

    As a ramum olivae to Robert, I should point out that I have no objection whatsoever to the idea of selling Linux-In-A-Box cheaply on retail shelves. Quite the reverse. I even bought a couple of the things (SuSE and a distro I can’t remember, might even have been Debian) from Egg in the 1990s.

    For the Hamster’s benefit, my point is that it was, and is, a failed business model. Ironically, this is precisely because Linux is Free. Once 57Kb modems were consigned to history, there was no reason at all to spend even 25¢s on a retail box, and that simple commercial reality consigned Mandrakiva to the dumpster of History.

    What this has to do with a monomaniac accidental billionaire squandering his money on a completely different commercial failure, and being roundly insulted by his own side whilst he does so, is beyond me.

    I said I had a degree in History, and I do. But it would take a degree in Aberrant Psychology to figure out the adverted commercial connnections between Ubuntu and Mandriva.

  11. DrLoser says:

    Mismanagement is what brings distributions down more than anything else.

    That’s rather a circular argument, don’t you think, Hamster?

    Adam Williamson yes scale is different but its the same kind of problem.

    Go ahead and ignore what the man said. He’s “on your side,” and he quoted relevant information.

    The scale is irrelevant in this case, and the problems are almost entirely orthogonal (apart from the two instances that Adam gave you).

    Mandriva failed because the business model on which it was based (sell boxed sets of a Linux desktop at high volume and low price) failed. That’s all there is to it.

  12. DrLoser says:

    @Adam Williamson:

    Thanks for the correction. That is actually quite interesting information; it’s quite difficult to extract this stuff from the Web, or perhaps my Bing-fu is waning.

    I hope both you and Robert will take this in the right way, but it’s really refreshing to see the Pog Blog attract a Linux enthusiast who actually knows his stuff and is factual and polite. Could you get Robert to link to your site? His current left-rail links are somewhat moribund.

    And then we have the Hamster.

    DrLoser History tells you how stuff dies.

    You have something of a fetish about History, Hamster. Do you have an academic qualification in it? Because I do.

    Software companies die in very interesting ways.

    No, they just die in the same way that other companies die. It isn’t very interesting at all. It’s called “commercial failure.”

    Slowly and never normally completely.

    Netscape, to take a famous example, flamed out in about two years, and it flamed out completely.

    Lotus kicked the bucket at supersonic speed. Novell limped around a bit and choked on its own vomit. BeOS couldn’t even get bought by Apple, even though they obviously (imho) had a far superior OS to NeXTStep. (They just didn’t have Jobs.)

    There is, as usual, precisely zero evidence behind your hairy little fantasy here, Hamster. And rather an impressive list of counter-examples. (I just picked the first three that came to mind.)

    Its a rare software company that is completely gone unless the owners directly decided to shut up shop.

    I beg to differ. It is practically the universal norm.

    Any more stupidity?

  13. oiaohm says:

    Adam Williamson problem is I know Mandriva/Mandrake very internally. 1998-about 2003 I was doing horrid things like merging distributions. Particularly Redhat with Mandrake 5.1 to the end of 8.x it was possible but painful.

    In 9.0 that is end of 2002 start of 2003. Mandrake only patches start appearing with no match to upstream.

    Adam Williamson Mandrake profitability ends as they start doing what Ubuntu doing.

    Yes I will give you Mandrake did not have the funding to go as far.

    Mandrake/Mandriva got cut off at the knees before they could get too far out of control by money.

    Adam Williamson same problem made Mandrake stability drop.

    Ubuntu has the funding to waste even more than Mandrake/Mandriva did. But Canonical still will most likely live.

    Mismanagement is what brings distributions down more than anything else. Adam Williamson yes scale is different but its the same kind of problem.

  14. drloser: Mandriva was publicly traded for a long time, on a French stock exchange, and published public financials. It made a consistent small loss between 2003 and 2011 or so; it made a profit briefly in 2001-2002. Something close to that, anyway. The loss was generally covered by further investment from French institutional investors, until they got sick of throwing their money away and the Russians came in.

  15. ram: I write a blog exclusively about Linux, and up until I stopped bothering to run a stats analyzer, my traffic was *still* solidly over 50% Windows.

  16. oiaohm: Mandriva never did anything like what Ubuntu is doing now. It couldn’t; didn’t have the engineering resources. Mandriva was screwed by a) a chronic lack of funding, b) mismanagement, and c) Ubuntu destroying the market for paid desktop Linux by giving everything away for free.

    Mandriva never diverged radically from the broader F/OSS development stream, or presented itself as a community-developed distribution; it was always clearly a project which the company behind it was in charge of.

    You can suggest parallels in terms of some of the management changes and the way the Club was handled, but really, they’re pretty different things from what’s affecting Ubuntu ATM.

  17. ram says:

    oiaohm has a point with respect to:

    “We have had business level Nats for a long time screwing with the numbers… the constant problem is how to get good numbers.”

    I know the widely advertised numbers bear no resemblance to what I see hitting my company’s web servers or to related sites we maintain.

    We sell industrial products not consumer goods, but we’ve never seen Microsoft exceed 37 percent of all operating systems in over a decade of our web server operations. The majority was, and remains, “Unix-like” operating systems. It used to be mostly SunOS, Solaris, and AIX with some BSD and Linux. Now our sites are mostly hit with one form of Linux or another, followed by one form of BSD or another. Sun and Microsoft are just about off the radar.

    With servers covering a fairly wide range of industrial goods, mostly industrial control for the minerals exploration and development sector, and also custom instrumentation for large media content creators, over a half-dozen countries we trust our server logs far more than any “computer” mass media reports.

  18. oiaohm says:

    MK You need todo the compare over time of Mandrake-Mandriva then the take over of Ubuntu.

    The Linux growth is fairly constant with dips at change overs.

    Also the dip in feb 2011 on makes sense. A few years back we run out of IPv4 addresses in volume.

    Like a lot of users at Testra here in Australia who use to have there own unique IP address to web servers is now reduced to 1 IP address.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv4_address_exhaustion

    Yes these deployments of carrier level Nats start in the year 2011 and are increasing. We have had business level Nats for a long time screwing with the numbers.

    MK web numbers are becoming more and more worthless. Area of survey of the Internet http://www.w3schools.com has done has reduced since the year 2011. You also see some strange number movements appear in XP and NT numbers at w3schools.

    MK the constant problem is how to get good numbers.

  19. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser in the Linux world most all the ones that have made it to the top have never completely died.

    –Mandriva didn’t even manage to get to the top of the Linux dungheap, let alone the IT Everest.–
    http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8017304038.html Wrong. When they were using the Name Mandrake they did make it to the top.

    http://www.linuxhomenetworking.com/forums/showthread.php/1425-Mandrake-becomes-Mandriva
    Yes they changed there name when on usage they were still top of heap. Even that there users really did not agree with the Name change. This is still before Ubuntu properly takes off.

    Stack of different things slowly brought Mandriva undone.

    Dr Loser
    –Mandriva is certainly not the poster child for how to make money off of Linux.–
    Correct its a poster child of what happens if you miss treat users and miss treat upstream. Yes bankruptcy calls and stacks of other pain.

    Dr Loser
    –And if it ever makes a profit, it will never make enough to recoup the tens of millions of euros sunk into it in the first place. I think I’m fairly safe in saying that.–
    I never said it would. And I never expect it to fully.

    How Mandriva looks today is how Canonical may look in future. The path Canonical is the same as Mandriva. Same goals same internal issues.

    Mandriva today is how a company making a distribution looks after miss treating it users and upstream.

    Of course Canonical is not past the point of no return yet. Shuttleworth comment about going there own way even more scary the head of Mandriva said the same thing.

    Distributions with long histories go out of there way to work with the upstream where able. Also listen to there users were able.

    Chrome and Android do in fact obey these basic rules. Redhat, Suse, Debian and many other long term distributions have also obeyed these rules.

    DrLoser Pan Am had physical machines it had to operate to stay in business. This is the problem items like Mandriva and Canonical don’t. So they can shrink and restructure and come back. If you look there is a technical difference Software companies have a lower cost of operation. Many times harder to kill.

    FOSS software companies have the down right habit of not dieing. Changing operation but not dieing. Yes loss of lots and lots of money.

    DrLoser History tells you how stuff dies. Software companies die in very interesting ways. Slowly and never normally completely. Its a rare software company that is completely gone unless the owners directly decided to shut up shop.

  20. Finalzone says:

    Well he has a point, gnome has definitely lost it’s way, i don’t know enough about kde to comment, and whilst xfce and others are great for people like me, they are not really up to the expectations of a modern user.

    Gnome is fine with its Gmome-Shell. Unity and Cinnamon heavily relied on Gnome 3 libraries because of control and resistance to change respectedly.

  21. DrLoser says:

    I did not say expensive or failed to achieve it goals.

    I didn’t say you did, Hamster. (Although as a company Mandriva seems expensive beyond belief. And if by goals you refer to its original business model, then it did indeed fail. See below, where I link to the H.)

    What I said was that you clownishly misrepresented “failed” as “will disappear.” Which you did. Don’t try to wriggle out of it.

    But it did not die. Mandriva still makes an income today. Just not a great one.

    Since it never declares its income (being privately held), this is an unfalsifiable proposition. But again my link to the H suggests that it is highly implausible.

    is Mandriva still doing the same product lines now as when they went for the desktop. Answer no they are not.

    Question I did not ask.

    Fairly much every company that has got to the top does not die.

    Absolute poppycock.

    1. Stock-market history is littered with examples of companies that got to the top and yet died. Pan Am, to take a random example.
    2. Mandriva didn’t even manage to get to the top of the Linux dungheap, let alone the IT Everest.

    Its following is strong enough for it to alter its products and keep on going.

    More unsubstantiated poppycock. Besides which, that following has now moved on to Mageia. Because Mageia is free.

    I should have been more clean Mandriva the company is still here. Mandriva the distribution is fairly much gone.

    Barely. Here’s the link to the H that I promised. It’s an entertaining history of repeated bankruptcy and/or liquidation, infusions of cash from mysterious French investors, investments by Russians … Mandriva is certainly not the poster child for how to make money off of Linux.

    And if it ever makes a profit, it will never make enough to recoup the tens of millions of euros sunk into it in the first place. I think I’m fairly safe in saying that.

  22. MK says:

    What final battle? The desktop is the past, as you keep telling us while spitefully giggling over Wintel’s misfortunes. Move on Mr Pogson, or you’ll be among the few left fighting windmills.

    As for the market share, Ubuntu there is not much to write home about. If anything, close ties with FLOSS only made Ubuntu yet another distro, that only nerds and enthusiasts wanted to use.

  23. Der Balrog wrote, “If … Canonical succeeded in grabbing a significant share of the desktop market with Ubuntu, then third party developers who don’t release FLOSS would be all the more willing to publish exclusively on Ubuntu. “

    Canonical already has a significant share of desktops and servers. That’s why Shuttleworth has dropped the facade of openness. He thinks he has his foot in the door with OEMs and he does. However the OEMs feel heat from a ton of smaller OEMs who are not committed to Ubuntu and governments and schools who order what they want. Canonical can grow its share arbitrarily large but they cannot exclude other distros. There’s no monopoly there and nothing Shuttleworth can do will make one. He can make a brand and grow it but there will always be competition amongst distros and Canonical will have to compete on price/performance.

    One thing is sure, M$’s share is declining and Ubuntu’s is increasing but so are the shares of the other distros. There’s nothing exclusive in GNU/Linux. Even if Ubuntu grows a very large share, it only takes a few major applications to stick with the wider GNU/Linux community to make Ubuntu maintain some level of compatibility. Display drivers won’t do it. Someone can always add a compatibility-layer if needed.

    I suppose the ultimate goal of Shuttleworth is to do another Android. At best he can expect to get half of Android’s share or something like that. That’s still just a wedge of the pie of all OS. GNU/Linux will just move on with or without Canonical. The value of all FLOSS is $billions and Canonical is investing just a few $million per annum. There’s no way Canonical can “go it alone” in a major way. The GUI is just window-dressing, a marketing tool.

  24. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog basically give up praying for Canonical to die. I could did out many companies that got to number 1 position on preferred Linux distribution to install. There distribution may be gone. But the name that distribution made them allows them to move on and make profit in other areas.

    Result Canonical is not going to die. No matter how much we wish it. With the collection of stupid maintainers Ubuntu has I wish death was a possibility.

    Reality the core company is not going to die even if Ubuntu completely tanks.

  25. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser. –Besides which, anybody who claims that Mandriva was anything other than an expensive failure probably needs to be bundled off into a rubber room.–
    I did not say expensive or failed to achieve it goals.

    But it did not die. Mandriva still makes an income today. Just not a great one.

    http://www.mandriva.com/en/ is Mandriva still doing the same product lines now as when they went for the desktop. Answer no they are not.

    Fairly much every company that has got to the top does not die. Its following is strong enough for it to alter its products and keep on going.

    Der Balrog Ubuntu fail yes as a desktop OS is possible. Company behind it history says they will live on most likely in a different form of products.

    I should have been more clean Mandriva the company is still here. Mandriva the distribution is fairly much gone.

    Ubuntu/Canonical will make this change simpler to see.

  26. Der Balrog says:

    Vindictive, eh?

    No, I’m just in for the entertainment value.

    Ubuntu splitting off completely to do something like Android is not a problem for anyone except M$ and Apple.

    Huh? If — it’d require a miracle, but let’s entertain the thought — Canonical succeeded in grabbing a significant share of the desktop market with Ubuntu, then third party developers who don’t release FLOSS would be all the more willing to publish exclusively on Ubuntu. Even if Ubuntu is still Linux enough underneath to remain compatible with other Linux distributions developers wouldn’t probably care about their software running on these other distributions because their financial gain would be negligible. And this in turn would enable Canonical to become ever more incompatible with the common base shared by other Linux distributions.

    But then again, as I wrote, Canonical will most likely fail.

    Unless there are lots and lots of post-Pogson types out there. Those who don’t want to use Windows but also have no interest in free as in speech, only in free as in beer.

    Like a zombie, GNU/Linux just cannot be killed.

    Such an apt comparison. GNU/Linux indeed uses technology which has come back from the grave where it should have stayed. I couldn’t have said it better myself, dear Pogson.

  27. Der Balrog wrote, “if the fight between Ubuntu and the rest of the Linux world can divide the community further before that happens I’ll gladly support them.”

    Vindictive, eh?

    The problem with your viewpoint is scale. Ubuntu splitting off completely to do something like Android is not a problem for anyone except M$ and Apple. A split just encourages more growth, like pruning a bush and propagating new bushes from the pieces. Nothing dies and new life begins. Ubuntu may be perfectly acceptable to some OEMs, retailers and consumers and we still have more normal GNU/Linux for the rest of us who are in with OEMs, retailers and consumers all over the world. Canonical’s salesmen did a lot to promote GNU/Linux and that cannot be put back in the bottle no matter what Shuttleworth does. He could commit murder and go to jail for the rest of his life and both Ubuntu and the rest of the distros would still thrive.

    I think he’s wrong but the split is still OK. That’s the beauty of making software cooperatively and in a modular fashion. Like a zombie, GNU/Linux just cannot be killed. M$ has tried everything and it hasn’t worked.

  28. Dr Loser says:

    The Original: “I think Canonical will in the end fail.”

    The Hamster Version: “History kinda does not agree with Canonical disappearing.”

    There is a small, yet subtly important, difference between these two statements, Hamster.

    Besides which, anybody who claims that Mandriva was anything other than an expensive failure probably needs to be bundled off into a rubber room.

    And what do you understand about History, Hamster? You have only the most tenuous grasp on the present. I’d focus on improving that first, if I were you.

  29. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog
    –Simple. I think Canonical will in the end fail. But if the fight between Ubuntu and the rest of the Linux world can divide the community further before that happens I’ll gladly support them. So my two negations are no accident.–

    History kinda does not agree with Canonical disappearing.
    http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mandriva

    Read the description of Mandriva compare that to Ubuntu. They have gone down exactly the same path of fail and they are still here.

    Der Balrog in the end Ubuntu maintainers will grow common sense. The question is will that be before there user base leave them or after. Mandrake left its run to common sense very late. By the time they woke up they had lost there user base to other Linux distributions.

    Watch the video and you will see how slowly ubuntu maintainers of upstart are slowly having to accept the reality in future there might be no choice but to be systemd compatible to keep there workload down.

    Der Balrog yes the Linux world fracture but there are a set of natural forces that reduce those fractures. One of the big natural forces is the one that goes alone has the largest maintenance bill due to having to use code in untested ways.

    Already now Der Balrog ubuntu is being forced into line.

  30. Der Balrog says:

    You want to untie that knot of logic so the rest of us can understand what your twisted mind is trying to say?

    Simple. I think Canonical will in the end fail. But if the fight between Ubuntu and the rest of the Linux world can divide the community further before that happens I’ll gladly support them. So my two negations are no accident.

    Good times, good times.

  31. kozmcrae says:

    We can’t stop fighting before Linux and Ubuntu aren’t synonymous, comrades!

    You want to untie that knot of logic so the rest of us can understand what your twisted mind is trying to say?

  32. oiaohm says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VTlPLZfJDVc

    Migrate from ConsoleKit to logind. This gives you a clear clue of how much of a mess Ubuntu is getting inside.

    The more you do we will not go where upstream is going the more complex things become. More problems users suffer from.

    Like a main feature of logind the means to have all processes users create tracked. Lets not support this because our init manager is not compatible.

    eug “mandrake/driva” They shot themselves in the foot the same kind of way. Welcome to history repeat.

    Der Balrog even if Linux was to win the desktop battle the wars would not end. This is the world of Linux competition. Sometimes its sane sometimes it insane.

  33. Der Balrog says:

    Ubuntu. The “monopoly” of free software. ROFL! Under these circumstances I really hope Canonical stays alive. We can’t stop fighting before Linux and Ubuntu aren’t synonymous, comrades! I’ll even buy a computer with Ubuntu pre-installed to make that happen.

  34. George Hostler says:

    Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) was discontinued with intentions that it was merged with regular Ubuntu. I could not get any of the more recent Ubuntu’s to load on my ASUS EeePC 701 (AKA 4G Surf). It has 4 GB of SSDD, and a 7 inch 800×480 display.

    Fortunately I found through a net search Zorin OS 6.2 Lite. It is based on LXDE and Ubuntu, but is light on resources. That I could load, now my netbook is up-to-date.

  35. eug says:

    On the other hand, thank god we have marvelous mint! 🙂

  36. eug says:

    It is sad that a distro that was userfriendly and eye candy long before shitbuntu has a foot in grave for a couple of years: mandrake/driva… 🙁

  37. oiaohm says:

    notzed there mir developers have admitted they could support libwayland or a wayland interface under mir.

    Many people have asked KDE developers if they will support mir. They answer is most likely no. Reason Kwin will be to be used instead of the reference from Wayland project Weston.
    http://community.kde.org/KWin/Wayland

    When X11 disappears and Wayland comes normal every desktop environment will be expected to provide there own Weston replacement.

    Idea of Wayland is not to make another X11. Mir team from Ubuntu has gone to treat Wayland like X11.

    “Not convinced by rolling releases.” Bit I agree with. glick2 development by a redhat developer offers a solution. Allow the installing of application bundles. So you have what is distribution tested and if someone wants something bleeding edge they install a bundle.

    If you look at what is going on with

  38. Mats Hagglund says:

    Some two years ago i said my valedictions to Ubuntu after seeing first serious signs of their attitude (caring nothing about feelings of Ubuntu community). Nowadays i don’t ever try Ubuntu. Mint Debian, Sabayon, Mageia etc are more interesting and good enough for me and my family.

  39. notzed says:

    Well he has a point, gnome has definitely lost it’s way, i don’t know enough about kde to comment, and whilst xfce and others are great for people like me, they are not really up to the expectations of a modern user.

    However, every word he says is just marketing for his commercial enterprise. Ubuntu is just the brand name of one of the products of that enterprise – it is not and never has been a community effort.

    No more, no less. The only moral obligation a company has is to make as much money as is legally possible.

    Personally I think Mir is a good idea on paper, but the way they did it, going alone in secret, is a total disaster. X was always terrible – it’s just that computers have so many free cycles it’s not terrible enough to even notice any more.

    Calling GNU/Linux a ‘platform for hobbyists’ is simply extreme FUD mind you. Try telling that to IBM or Google or pretty much the whole world outside of Microsoft and Apple. It’s just an insult. He’s just trying to position his company as one who is solving the FUD he generates …

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